The combination of food and bacteria causes tooth decay; this is where dentistry comes into the scene. Plaque, a sticky and clear substance that contains the bacteria, always form on the gums and teeth. Since bacteria feed on sugar in the foods you eat, they create acids. Acids attack your teeth for more than 20 minutes after eating. As time passes, the acids destroy the tooth enamel which results in the tooth decay. If it is not treated at the right time, tooth decay can be painful, and it can cause tooth loss and infection. The easiest ways to prevent tooth decay are flossing and brushing your teeth regularly. You can include dried fruits like raisins in your diet to avoid symptoms of tooth decay. Also it is important that you see your dentist for checkups and teeth cleaning, and try to avoid the foods that are very high in sugar. The chances of tooth decay increases in the following conditions:
- If you do not brush the teeth two times a day; in morning and definitely before going to bed.
- If you do not floss the teeth every day.
- If you eat foods that have lots of sugar or fast food. If the sugary food stays in contact with your teeth for a long time, the chances increase of the bacteria feeding and making acids in your mouth. Sugary foods and sticky sweets like sugar-coated cereal, caramel, cookies, taffy, and cake cause most damage.
- If fluoride lacks in public water supply.
Symptoms Of Tooth DecayTooth decay does not usually cause the symptoms until you get an infected tooth or a cavity. When this occurs, common symptoms are:
- Most common symptom is toothache. An irritation or infection of tooth pulp causes this pain usually.
- Foul taste or a bad breath in the mouth.
- Black, brown, gray or white spots on teeth.
- Tooth that is very sensitive to pressure or a broken tooth.
- Loose fillings.
- Eat sweets.
- Chew gum or food.
- Eat cold or hot foods or drink cold, acidic, or hot liquids, like citrus drinks.
- Brush your teeth.
- Breathe in the cold air.
- A swollen jaw
- Swollen glands
- Deep, throbbing pain
How Tooth Decay Is DiagnosedAs soon as you feel the symptoms of having tooth decay, you should immediately fix an appointment with your dentist. A dentist usually diagnoses the tooth decay by:
- Examining your teeth by using a small mirror and a pointed tool.
- Asking questions regarding your past medical and dental problems and care.
- Taking the X-rays of mouth and teeth.